Robert_Charlton - 8:00 pm on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
I read somewhere that google says 90% of the queries are local related?! I doubt this. 99% of my queries are not local related.
Google's figure, which I've seen repeated numerous times, is that 20% of all searches are local related.
This is a percentage of "all" searches. It's not about you. It is about arithmetic. If we look at 5 sites, all with equal traffic, and 4 had absolutely no local traffic, and one was entirely local, we'd say that 20% of the traffic for those sites was local.
How local relates to this discussion
Much speculation to follow.... "Zombie traffic" appears to be traffic from locations that don't convert. It's been observed among people who monitor Google search rankings closely that rankings are skewed locally. "Hyper-local" was the term used by Greg Boser at last year's PubCon. Ditto, as has been observed in various threads on zombie traffic, throttling, and shaping, Google auto-complete suggestions appear to be skewed locally. So, localization may be a useful framework in which Google can implant results for whatever it's testing.
These test factors may or may not include geo-location.
I've also noted some results that aren't local on the surface might be affected by local factors. In this discussion, I noticed search results shifting as I changed my default location by only several miles closer to a retail outlet for a chain that was ranking for a particular search on which we allowed discussion.
Bullet Points in SERP description, is that new?
I mention all this because I've felt that all those extra organic results we've been seeing, the multiple results and the Local listings, including those with Place flags, have been part of ongoing tests, changing with each iteration of Panda (or whatever else it is that Google might be testing).
So, that's in part what the "local" talk is about.
Does local still relate to this discussion?
The bullet-point test noted above may or may not have been a test of what I'll call QDL... Query Deserves Localization.
Let me toss out this thought, though, that some local results may have stabilized and Google may be into testing other factors which don't related to locality at all. It's possible, therefore, that the zombie traffic some are getting may no longer be locally related... that it might also or instead be, say, Panda related. For me, this is speculation, and I haven't observed zombie traffic directly.
I have seen and discussed graphs from other SEOs of what appear to be traffic caps, though... the "buzz saw" effect... which vividly depicts traffic throttling. The only explanation I have for throttling is that Google might be trying to bring, say, various observed user behavior from different sites into the same range for comparison, and limiting traffic for some sites might be a way of doing this.
I'd further imagine that Google might do this only in marginal areas. I can't imagine Google throttling, say, Amazon, at least not for any extended period, in order to bring the stats of all other sites into range.